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(Japan Today)   Chinese schoolchildren who visit Japan for first time are puzzled by bizarre Japanese fetish...for obeying traffic laws   (japantoday.com) divider line 90
    More: Amusing, Chinese, Japanese, Japan, traffic  
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8485 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2013 at 10:39 AM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-19 08:38:19 AM
I have listened to a Turkish exchange student comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...
 
2013-08-19 09:17:33 AM

"... the Chinese school children were even more shocked to see how Japanese people followed traffic laws so faithfully. Even when there were no cars present, pedestrians remained in their proper place at the edge of the sidewalk and waited for their light to turn green."


Wait until these kids go to Berlin!!! It's utter insanity. If you cross the street before the little green man signal shows, you're farked!

Next up: Chinese children are amazed to see that adults in other countries don't spit on every farking surface every single minute.

farm8.staticflickr.com

 
2013-08-19 09:18:24 AM

edmo: I have listened to a Turkish exchange student comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...


I've heard the same thing.  It's not the 500 times of blowing through a stop sign where there are no cars to be seen for miles that is the problem.  It is the one time you do it and don't see semi full of chickens doing 70mph on the intersecting road.  It's habit forming and if you always do it, sooner or later it becomes second nature to run it....just like stopping at it.  Which is better?
 
2013-08-19 09:37:35 AM
Silly country mouses.
 
2013-08-19 09:56:51 AM

edmo: I have listened to a Turkish exchange student Quebecois motorist comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...


FTFM

/those French Canadians are crazy drivers
 
2013-08-19 10:03:57 AM
My first time in China I tried to stand in line at the passport desk.  Big mistake.The Chinese are incapable of understanding how to form an orderly queue.
 
2013-08-19 10:09:28 AM

UberDave: edmo: I have listened to a Turkish exchange student comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...

I've heard the same thing.  It's not the 500 times of blowing through a stop sign where there are no cars to be seen for miles that is the problem.  It is the one time you do it and don't see semi full of chickens doing 70mph on the intersecting road.  It's habit forming and if you always do it, sooner or later it becomes second nature to run it....just like stopping at it.  Which is better?


Semi CSB:

I was in China on a school/business trip in 2008, while we were there we saw the most ridiculous traffic. People simply did whatever they wanted. I remember offhandedly commenting to someone at the time we arrived, "Well, it looks like a total disaster but it kind of seems to work."

Fast forward one week, we're on our way to a company in Shenzhen and we're stopped in traffic, and we see why: a guy on a motorbike was hit by a car, no helmet, and from our perch on the bus it sure looked like the guy was dead. Medics/ambulance nowhere to be found.
 
2013-08-19 10:10:57 AM

xanadian: edmo: I have listened to a Turkish exchange student Quebecois Israeli motorist comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa America when there are no other cars coming...

FTFM

/those French Canadians are crazy drivers


FTFM, though to be fair we were both commenting on it, so you can add English motorists to that list. UberDave's comment makes sense though, I shall endeavour to bear that in mind in future.
 
2013-08-19 10:42:40 AM

skinink: Wait until these kids go to Berlin!!! It's utter insanity. If you cross the street before the little green man signal shows, you're farked!


I once crossed in sight of a child at a red man in Hamburg while drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, and was lectured by a little old german besserwisser for setting a bad example for the children.... because of the jaywalking.
 
2013-08-19 10:43:12 AM
Ze Germans do that as well.
 
2013-08-19 10:46:28 AM
I find it interesting the the article focuses on the Japanese following the rules, and not on the Chinese who feel they can ignore all the rules and anything they can get away with is OK.

That leads to Japanese products having a good reputation, and Chinese products having the reputation of "They probably made it with lead and other poisons".
 
2013-08-19 10:47:02 AM
Beijing traffic is the worst.  Most cars will leave only an inch or so of space between itself and the car in front of it, so if someone breaks down or gets into an accident, none of the cars behind them can get out.  Every major road is 6 or 8 lanes, and pedestrians will still try to cross in the middle -- and if it slows to a crawl, beggars will sometimes come out and go up to each car to ask for money.
 
2013-08-19 10:48:48 AM
I'm sure that they're also amazed at how other people don't use their car horns as a form of sonar, since they don't obey the laws.
 
2013-08-19 10:48:52 AM
I had a chance to be a passenger of a Turkish driver on a trip to New Orleans.  Never again.
 
2013-08-19 10:51:06 AM
I was in Xi'an with my daughter walking through night market.  She looked across the market and saw the perfect dress that she had been looking for but I only had small bills on me.  The clerk spoke a few works of English and I know a few words of Chinese so we negotiated the price but she had to walk me six blocks each way to an ATM to get the cash.  The main roads are two express lanes each was a third stopping lane.  The clerk made it very clear to me that we walk, not run, across because the cars would miss us but if we ran it could screw up the timing.
 
2013-08-19 10:51:20 AM
Asian driver thread?
 
2013-08-19 10:54:09 AM

xanadian: edmo: I have listened to a Turkish

East Indian exchange student Quebecois motorist comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...

FTFM

/those French Canadians
East Indians are crazy drivers

FTFY

Worst drivers I've ever seen. Apparently, 50km/h means speed up by an additional 50 km/h no matter the weather traffic conditions, school zone, solid yellow line, school safety zone, crosswalk, accident scene. You name it, they'll speed through it.
 
2013-08-19 10:57:16 AM

vudukungfu: Asian driver thread?


Yeah, Asian drivers are the worst. When I was in China, any time there was a car accident odds are it involved an Asian driver.
 
2013-08-19 10:58:31 AM
They should see young urbanites crossing the street in Chicago.
 
2013-08-19 10:58:34 AM
Rural Japan might be a bit different than Tokyo then; at least where I was living a decade ago.  It wasn't anarchic by any means, but the general sense was that anything paved was fair game, and that the lines painted on the road were more suggestions than boundaries.
 
2013-08-19 10:59:29 AM

skinink: Next up: Chinese children are amazed to see that adults in other countries don't spit on every farking surface every single minute.


Also surprised to see people in other countries don't just urinate and defecate wherever they happen to be standing at the time.

/And yes, I've seen Chinese parents just let their kid piss and crap right where they are rather than seeking out a washroom.

//more than once or twice
 
2013-08-19 11:00:08 AM
China is what happens when everyone drives a car like they were still bicyclists.
 
2013-08-19 11:01:55 AM

Marcus Aurelius: My first time in China I tried to stand in line at the passport desk.  Big mistake.The Chinese are incapable of understanding how to form an orderly queue.


That's because they are forming an orderly 队列 .
 
2013-08-19 11:02:39 AM

UberDave: edmo: I have listened to a Turkish exchange student comment on the utter insanity of stopping at a stop sign in rural Iowa when there are no other cars coming...

I've heard the same thing.  It's not the 500 times of blowing through a stop sign where there are no cars to be seen for miles that is the problem.  It is the one time you do it and don't see semi full of chickens doing 70mph on the intersecting road.  It's habit forming and if you always do it, sooner or later it becomes second nature to run it....just like stopping at it.  Which is better?


You use Give Way (Yield) signs on most junctions so you get into the habbit of checking that the road is clear before you pull out.
 
2013-08-19 11:03:50 AM
Japan strikes me as a country that as strong social rules about how one behaves in public, but is as seemingly tolerate of allowing people to do whatever they want behind closed doors. Never been, so someone tell me if I'm wrong.

Seems like a good way to balance civil society and individual freedoms.
 
2013-08-19 11:05:05 AM

HailRobonia: vudukungfu: Asian driver thread?

Yeah, Asian drivers are the worst. When I was in China, any time there was a car accident odds are it involved an Asian driver.


Sure, what is your sample size?   Is it just a few data points or like a brazillion?
 
2013-08-19 11:06:57 AM

Cheron: I was in Xi'an with my daughter walking through night market.  She looked across the market and saw the perfect dress that she had been looking for but I only had small bills on me.  The clerk spoke a few works of English and I know a few words of Chinese so we negotiated the price but she had to walk me six blocks each way to an ATM to get the cash.  The main roads are two express lanes each was a third stopping lane.  The clerk made it very clear to me that we walk, not run, across because the cars would miss us but if we ran it could screw up the timing.


Same thing in Paris.  People cross the street any time but when the sign is red, don't go if a car is coming.  And once it is green, you just cross...period.  The cars will stop (unlike here where you just don't know) or, if making turns, they need you to keep pace so don't hesitate.  But more importantly, its the unlighted crossings...like roundabout intersections where one road comes down into the roundabout and the car has to make a 160 degree turn to go up the very next road.  They'll come barreling into those things and seriously depend on the pedestrians to keep pace.
 
GBB
2013-08-19 11:08:20 AM
"Even as a foreigner living overseas, there are times when you can feel the watchful gaze of the people checking to see if you're doing things in the correct and proper way."

Which is pretty much what religion wants you to feel all the time.  But in Japan, they've substituted a sky wizard with the population.  The biggest difference is that if you defy the sky wizard, you don't get nasty stares or hear the whispers about what a horrible person you are.  I think their way is more effective.
 
2013-08-19 11:10:52 AM

silverjets: skinink: Next up: Chinese children are amazed to see that adults in other countries don't spit on every farking surface every single minute.

Also surprised to see people in other countries don't just urinate and defecate wherever they happen to be standing at the time.

/And yes, I've seen Chinese parents just let their kid piss and crap right where they are rather than seeking out a washroom.

//more than once or twice


well sure, have you been in a public washroom there? simply filthy.
 
2013-08-19 11:11:27 AM

Kerr Avon: Ze Germans do that as well.


As do, frankly, most Americans.  Spectacular outlier counter-examples aside....
 
2013-08-19 11:11:35 AM

Arkanaut: so if someone breaks down or gets into an accident, none of the cars behind them can get out.


In Taiwan they don't have at-fault like in the US. Every detail can be used in negotiating a settlement between the parties, and if they don't, it goes to a judge, who takes everything into account. So if there is an accident, it farks up traffic for an hour while the cops are rolling the little wheels around skid marks and taking pictures of the scene like it's CSI.
 
2013-08-19 11:12:16 AM
skinink:
Next up: Chinese children are amazed to see that adults in other countries don't spit on every farking surface every single minute.

And carve graffiti into ancient monuments to human civilization.
 
2013-08-19 11:12:16 AM

Marcus Aurelius: My first time in China I tried to stand in line at the passport desk.  Big mistake.The Chinese are incapable of understanding how to form an orderly queue.


That RIGHT THERE is the reason they do not utterly dominate the world right now.  If they had only learned how to properly queue from the British then they would now be unstoppable.
 
2013-08-19 11:12:44 AM
Japan seems like an interesting place to visit. Period. So does China, but without the pissing and shiatting on streets and the free-for-all traffic.
 
2013-08-19 11:13:10 AM
Good-bye, Japan! I'll miss your Kentucky Fried Chicken and your sparkling, whale-free seas.
 
2013-08-19 11:13:15 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-19 11:13:28 AM

Kurohone: Rural Japan might be a bit different than Tokyo then; at least where I was living a decade ago.  It wasn't anarchic by any means, but the general sense was that anything paved was fair game, and that the lines painted on the road were more suggestions than boundaries.


I dont know about that. Yes they drive on everything, but the roads are about 1.5 US lanes wide over those rice patties. They also religiously stop at stop signs and use their horn as a way to thank someone.
 
2013-08-19 11:19:24 AM
In the Bahamas, the traffic lights are merely a suggestion.
They slow down slightly when it's red.  Sometimes.
 
2013-08-19 11:19:41 AM
Japanese drivers are uniformly terrible and the traffic there is terrifying. I can't recall seeing a single car driving on the proper side of the road!
 
2013-08-19 11:20:12 AM

Marcus Aurelius: My first time in China I tried to stand in line at the passport desk.  Big mistake.The Chinese are incapable of understanding how to form an orderly queue.


Yes, but the queue went out of fashion after the Cultural Revolution.
Most men adopted somewhat Western haircuts.
 
2013-08-19 11:20:45 AM

silverjets: skinink: Next up: Chinese children are amazed to see that adults in other countries don't spit on every farking surface every single minute.

Also surprised to see people in other countries don't just urinate and defecate wherever they happen to be standing at the time.

/And yes, I've seen Chinese parents just let their kid piss and crap right where they are rather than seeking out a washroom.

//more than once or twice


Yikes!  Well, what are you going to do?  That's their culture.

I'm supposed to go to Shanghai next year.  If I have to piss, I'll just do it right there in the airport waiting area.  Or wherever.  thanks for the tip!
 
2013-08-19 11:23:42 AM
Next year they are going on a traffic school field trip to Canada to watch Canadians wait at a zebra crossing for the light to change -- at 3:30 in the morning on streets as dead as any zombie movie highway.

I got that from a joke book about Canadians (by two Americans, naturally) entitled The Retarded Giant. It's funny because it's true.

In my personal experience, I am safer when I jaywalk carefully than I ever would be crossing with the light on the crossing. Motorists don't always respect the pedestrian's right of way.

In general, driving is more courteous and safer in countries and places that have had cars for a long time.

The US is high on that list. It is also high on the list of courteous, sedate and smooth drivers. A French journalist slash philosopher who traveled extensively in America (something that is quite rare--most only see New York or Florida or LA) was amazed by how smoothly Americans drive (in the flyover states). The French tend to drive in jerks and stops which make me carsick very quickly (something I don't normally suffer in Canada or the US or even Switzerland). They rely on their brakes.

I always say the French believe they are in control of the vehicle as long as the brakes work.

Quebequers constantly amaze me by showing French traits that they must have inherited for three or four centuries. Are they cultural? Are they genetic? are they both? Yes, Quebequers are impatient and even reckless drivers compared to most Americans and most English Canadians. Mind you, Ontario drivers are worse than Atlantic Canadian drivers in general, while Western drivers from the flyover provinces are another kettle of fish. These are people who have guns in their pick-ups and who tend to use them almost as readily as Americans of the same type. I suspect they are the descendants of boot-strappy Americans who wandered North of the border when the border was not entirely fixed and not expected to last very long.

Mind you, there is a lot of local variation. Even within my native county, there are some very courteous and careful drivers who stop if you look like you intend to cross the street (they live in towns where there may be very few, if any, stop lights and marked crossings), while others drive like they are the only vehicle on every road--flying through blind crossroads without a thought or a care. Look out for me because I can't be arsed to look out for you!

Ottawa drivers are famously bad, but would probably seem over-cautious in Montreal or on the Prairies. Ottawa pedestrians tend to jaywalk, but perhaps not as aggressively as the famous Boston jaywalkers, who apparently haven't accepted the existence of the automobile yet and are still artful dodgers of horses and wagons.

But all in all, Americans tend to be good drivers in most suburbs and small towns. Its the big city slickers and the country morans that you have to watch out for.

In fact, in my experience, many Americans are very courteous, generous and friendly people. They may be willing to shoot you if you don't stay off their lawns, but they have the good manners of people who have a sword and aren't afraid to use it with the blessing of the Church and the King.

It is my contention that good manners are not a sign of weakness, but of strength. You learn them if other people are willing to kill you for bad manners. You also learn them if you are strong and secure. It saves a lot of bother trying to explain things to dumb slow thinking and slower writing cops. Rich people may be sociopaths, but they are often very polite sociopaths. Sociopaths are people who can turn on the charm like a faucet. And turn it off again just as fast. Good mannered ribbing and rubbing out of troublesome idiots are the mark of the sociopath in high society as in low society.

The fellow who waives you into traffic with a smile may very well be willing to hunt you down and kill you like a dog.

Drive defensively, people!
 
2013-08-19 11:23:56 AM

BigLuca: They should see young urbanites crossing the street in Chicago.


I actually heard of a GAME where you stand at the intersection and jump out in front of cars to force them to brake hard.

cdn.edu-search.com

This guy was too busy RUNNING to notice that he had a RED.... in ITALY... so there's that (plus what's up with all the graffiti there?)
 
2013-08-19 11:24:44 AM
I'd much rather drive in Japan than China. The traffic moves smoothly and quickly instead of everyone trying to be the biggest dick that they can.
 
2013-08-19 11:30:27 AM
This is a youtube video of traffic in a non important city in China.  I watched it and can't help but wonder how China has an overpopulation problem when their roadways are like suicide gauntlets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uf2QNtYpII
 
2013-08-19 11:31:31 AM

JuggleGeek: I find it interesting the the article focuses on the Japanese following the rules, and not on the Chinese who feel they can ignore all the rules and anything they can get away with is OK.

That leads to Japanese products having a good reputation, and Chinese products having the reputation of "They probably made it with lead and other poisons".


That's because if you live in a country where the rule of law means nothing, and the only thing that matters is who is in charge and who you know, you tend to only follow law when someone who matters is looking.

With the rule of law quickly taking a back seat to money and power in the USA, it won't be too long before Americans will be disobeying laws too.  I'm already seeing a lot of it where I live.
 
2013-08-19 11:31:36 AM

silverjets: /And yes, I've seen Chinese parents just let their kid piss and crap right where they are rather than seeking out a washroom.


Yeah I saw a parent let a kid do this in the middle of one of Shanghais ultra-upscale expensive malls.
 
2013-08-19 11:36:30 AM
Whatever happened to the China I heard about?  Aren't they supposed to arrest you for a trivial crime, forego a fair trial, and sentence you to an immediate death?  Don't you get shot and your family is charged for the bullet?
 
2013-08-19 11:38:36 AM
Sheiit ... go to Boston sometime.
 
2013-08-19 11:38:37 AM

JuggleGeek: I find it interesting the the article focuses on the Japanese following the rules, and not on the Chinese who feel they can ignore all the rules and anything they can get away with is OK.

That leads to Japanese products having a good reputation, and Chinese products having the reputation of "They probably made it with lead and other poisons".



slurmed.com
 
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